Hand Tools

Subject:
Why blade life is most important to me.
Response To:
Re: Clarifying a point ()

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I mostly use a plane for fitting furniture parts. My "planing sessions" are often seconds in duration and never more than a minuet or two. As an example, yesterday I took two shavings from a picture frame I was fitting.

Planing sessions may be separated in time by days. I took two months off to build a bridge in the midst of the bed I am making. Demands on the plane vary greatly depending on the details of what part needs to be planed. This variability makes it impossible for me to judge the progress of dulling and anticipate a need for sharpening in preparation for the next planing task that shows up.

As a result of these factors a plane too dull to do what is required shows up as an unanticipated stoppage in work flow. Annoying. Ideally my favorite plane stays sharp enough through the end of a build. At the end of a build I sharpen everything I used to any significant amount. Repeat next project.

If I had to sharpen 10 times in the course of building something I would not have any interest in a blade that cut this need to 8. But in fact I usually can squeeze enough life from an edge to have this number 0 or 1.

Sharpening always requires hollow grinding, and two refinements on diamond. It doesn't matter to this regime whether I am sharpening a soft Stanley blade or one made with M4.

Other's results will differ.

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